March 24, 2009 // Franchising.com // MANITOWOC, WIS. - You might say A&W Draft Root Beer runs in the veins of Jimmy Brajdic, a Wisconsin native and A&W Restaurants Franchisee. As the second generation franchisee to own and operate an A&W Drive-In for the last 25-years, it is only fitting that Brajdic will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of A&W Restaurants by opening a state of the art "A&W Restaurant 3-D Drive-In" here in early April at 4141 Harbor Town Lane.
And just like Brajdic's parents Ron and Julie who partnered with another couple to open their A&W Drive-In in Fond du Lac, WI 25 years ago, Brajdic is partnering with Barb Gretzinger, a former Hardee's franchisee, who also has owns an A&W Restaurant in Stiles, WI, to open their new A&W Drive -In in Manitowoc.
"Our new A&W Drive In offers many of our small or single unit operators a chance to team up with other franchisees in the system and become multi-unit operators," Doug Heinrich, A&W director of development strategy, said. "The new drive-in development model captures the fabric of our brand."
According Heinrich, the "3-D Drive In" concept integrates the A&W goal of modernizing the drive in concept for consumers with "drive-through, dine-in and drive-in" capabilities.
Brajdic, a Wisconsin native, cut his teeth on the iconic A&W brand as a child when his parents lived near an A&W. He would visit the nearby restaurant and enjoy free baby mugs of fresh made A&W Root Beer.
While attending University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he earned a degree in hospitality and tourism, the young Brajdic's interest in restaurants continued to grow, and after working on a project with YUM! Brands, parent company for A&W, the natural career path for Brajdic was to become an A&W franchisee.
Brajdic said the new A&W will be open the first week of April 2009 and will feature the famous A&W All American menu of frosty mugs of fresh made root beer, burgers, hot dogs, French fries and Root Beer Floats.
Founded in 1919 in Lodi, CA, A&W Restaurants is experiencing a renaissance and plans to open 15 new Drive Ins in 2009 with much of its growth targeted at Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Oregon.
The A&W® brand was founded in 1919, and A&W® All American Food® is famous for serving a signature frosty mug root beer float and 100% US beef hamburgers and coney dogs. There are more than 675 A&W® All American Food® outlets in 15 countries and territories around the world, and more than 600 additional points of distribution at Yum! Brands multibrand restaurants. A&W Restaurants, Inc. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Louisville, Ky.